Empathy or Complicity?: Southern Jews and Black Civil Rights

A-B Tech is collaborating with the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies and Carolina Public Humanities to provide a virtual public talk by Dr. Josh Parshall titled "Empathy or Complicity?: Southern Jews and Black Civil Rights,” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21.

The history of Jews in the American South is distinguished in part by the region’s particular history of anti-Black racism and segregation, but southern Jews’ varied responses to systems of segregation, discrimination, and exploitation defy easy characterization. While scholarly histories and popular memory often portray southern Jews as empathetic toward African Americans, some southern Jews actively and publicly defended the practice of segregation and nearly all Jews in the South benefited from having white status in a racially stratified economic and social system.

In this talk, Dr. Parshall will examine the long, complex, and sometimes contradictory history of southern Jews’ actions and inactions in response to the problems of white supremacy and Black civil rights.



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